A meeting held at the home of Mr. George Fox in September 1948 for the purpose of planning a new Baptist Church (forty-three attended this meeting). Mr. Worth Black led the opening prayer, Mr. Horace Lawing was moderator, Mrs. Tyson Lawing was elected church clerk and Mrs. Horace Lawing was elected secretary and treasurer. The amount of $2,000 was raised during this meeting and 1.54 acres were donated by Mr. Mrs. Tyson Lawing. Mr. Carl Hewitt suggested the new church be named “Friendly Chapel Baptist Church”. It was decided that church would be held in homes until the church building was completed. Mr. George Shull led the closing prayer. The building built of cement blocks approx. 30’x50’ was finished in November 1948. Cost for the church building and tower was $5,547.22. Since the building was only an auditorium, it was used for Sunday school classes also. The first services were held on November 21st, 1948. The choir of approx. Fifty was directed by Mr. RQ Howard with Miss Ruth Howard on piano. Rev. Haskel Sided read scripture from Psalm 103, and invitation was given and four souls were saved that day. On December 20th, 1948 Mr. Rhyne Henley, Mr. Horace Lawing and Mr. Tyson Lawing were ordained as deacons, joining already ordained deacons Mr. George Fox and Mr. George Shull as the first Friendly Chapel deacons.
Friendly Chapel Baptist Church was accepted into the South Fork Baptist Association in September 1950. Mr. Vance Lawing was choir director and Miss Shirley as pianist at this time. The last payment was made on the church in August 1951. Shortly thereafter, classrooms and restrooms were added. In February 1959 a small piece of land (.82 acre) was purchased from Mr. and Mrs. Marvin Poole for $500.00. The first wedding held at Friendly Chapel was that of Miss Jean McCorkle and Mr. Bobby Shull on October 25th, 1959; Rev. Floyd Beaver officiated. In 1961 Friendly Chapel had its first Bible School and four souls were saved. Mrs. Floyd Beaver was director. Also, that year the church bought an organ and Mrs. Darris Lee Turbyfill was chosen as organist.
In 1963, Friendly Chapel voted to build a new church building. Being without a pastor at the time the church believed that God would make a way and the building was started. We were fortunate to get Mr. Preston Turbyfill and the Harris brothers (which included the father of our current pastor) to build it. Plans were drawn by Mr. Turbyfill, Mrs. Tyson Lawing and DL Turbyfill. A total of $20,800 was borrowed, the building would be 40’x86’ with front porch including four columns, back porch, a baptistery (scene painted by Mr. Joe Burke), nursery, full basement with eight Sunday School rooms, office and two restrooms. Some of the work was done by members, the pulpit furniture, pews and piano were moved from the old church to Sunday school rooms of the new church.
On July 5th, 1964 Friendly Chapel met in the new unfinished church for the first baptizing of the first person Mrs. Peggy Reel followed by Miss Vickie McGee, Miss Jerrie Stikeleather, Miss Becky Ballard, Miss Myrldene, Mr. Randy Carpenter and Mr. Pete Wilkinson all by Rev. Morris Baker. On September 13th, 1964, Friendly Chapel met in the new church for the first morning service.
On July 31st, 1966 the church voted to buy the Marvin Poole house and land (4.5 acres) for $8,000. In August 1968 the church voted to install A/C at the cost of $1,800. The first church directory was printed in 1970. The loan for the cost of the new church was paid off on September 13th, 1971. A paved parking lot was done on August 30th, 1972 and a new organ was put in on February 18th 1973. Work on a new Church Parsonage was stated in March 1977 and was moved onto on September 3rd, 1977. The church voted to build a Fellowship Building in July 1979; work stated in August 1979 and was completed in March 1980. A new sign was put out front of the church in April 1989. One of the current church vans was purchased in 2001, also in September 2001 the church held a tent revival that was done in cooperation with several area churches. In 2004 work was completed on the Sunday school addition. In 2012 the church added another bus and a group went on their first Coal Wood West Virginia Mission trip in 2013 and a Vermont Mission trip in 2014.
Other Notable events:
Shirley Dellinger was pianist from 1950 to 2014; Mrs. Helen Turbyfill was organist from 1961 to 2019.
Our current pianist is Mrs. Ann Simmons
As of 2020 we mark 72 years as a church and 56 years in the current building. We are truly thankful to God for the blessings He has given us. We are also very thankful to the Pastors, Deacons and all the other Officers who have served during out rich history and we look forward to the blessing that God has in store for us.